President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at a "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Fla., on Feb. 18, 2017. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Let the first lady pray! (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

So goes the first part of the most well-known prayer in the world, the Lord’s Prayer, given to us 2,000 years ago by Jesus himself. Who would ever think this beloved prayer — said by billions of people, for thousands of years — would be considered controversial?

But apparently it is. Especially when prayed by the first lady of the United States at an event organized by and for her husband, President Donald Trump.

At the Melbourne, Fla., rally on Saturday, (Feb. 18), Melania Trump walked up to the presidential podium, thanked the crowd and, with her husband by her side, said something I can’t remember any first lady or president doing in recent memory. She said simply, “Let us pray,” and then read the Lord’s Prayer in its entirety.

At first the crowd didn’t seem to know what was happening, but then it quieted down and many closed their eyes and joined her in praying. When she was done the crowd erupted in spontaneous applause.

Yet, so many have chosen instead to criticize and politicize it.

When I posted a link to the video of the prayer on my Facebook page, more than 750,000 people viewed it and thousands left comments. As usual, many comments were positive; however, others were negative and some were outright hostile:

  • “How come she had to read it? …. Hmmm”
  • “I saw it, WHAT A MOCKERY. The Lord’s prayer is not a tool to be used for political gain”
  • “Fake! Very sad how they use God. Brainwashing people to the fullest.”

Don’t you think it’s time to hit the pause button, folks? There are moments that call on us to put politics aside.

Our first lady, shouldering the new weight of her title and position, took a courageous stand and led 9,000 people in a prayer for God’s help and assistance in our nation. To me it was beautiful, and I would say the same if it had been first lady Laura Bush or first lady Michelle Obama standing at that podium.

I recently had the privilege of praying for our military and first responders at the Washington National Cathedral the day after the inauguration.

Also during that service, the first lady was similarly moved by our Christian faith, when a young lady named Marlana VanHoose sang the hymn “How Great Thou Art.” VanHoose, who is blind and has cerebral palsy, delivered the most unforgettable moment of the service.

She sang the words powerfully and with great conviction; she could not see us but we will never forget seeing her that morning proclaiming “Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art, how great thou art.”

VanHoose’s song was met with tears from the first lady, who rose to her feet, first among a crowd of hundreds. The standing ovation that followed will be cemented in the memory of many who attended that service.

Our nation’s pundits ought to have more grace, and if they refuse to treat the first lady’s office with common decency then they ought to at least honor the prayer she prayed.

While there are thousands of other examples, I especially remember how that same prayer brought strength and courage to a particular American hero, Todd Beamer.

His courage on Sept. 11, 2001, will go down in the annals of history. A recording recovered after ‪United Airlines 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field captured his praying the Lord’s Prayer just before storming the cockpit, overcoming the terrorists and saving countless other lives in the process.

This is what I thought of when I heard the first lady boldly pray again the powerful words of Jesus.

(Greg Laurie is senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., and hosts the nationally syndicated radio broadcast “A New Beginning”)

Comments

  1. It was wonderful hearing the Lord’s Prayer from our First Lady…God Bless her!

  2. Let’s see: Melania Trump, most privileged wife of most privileged husband, most photographed in the world (according to her), who plans to profit monetarily (‘cuz there’s just never enough) from her newly influential position is sympathetically described as having to shoulder a “heavy burden?” Really? Or even worse as “courageous” for reading – not reciting from memory – probably the best known Christian prayer in the world to a majority Christian audience at a rally – a rally; think about what this means in terms of feeding narcissism – for her already elected husband?

    Mr. Laurie, I confess myself surprised that any Christian finds something to applaud in this. How is it that a powerful woman who clearly has only a passing familiarity with the trappings of your faith, exploits that faith for the express purpose of garnering applause and air time for a needy, narcissistic spouse (while running afoul of your own Jesus’ admonition [Matt. 6:5]), and you don’t object? A more strongly principled people might consider whether or not they appreciate any elected official cynically appropriating their cherished beliefs for the sake of scoring points.

  3. God bless this First Lady who has more class and spirit from the Lord then many, many people in these United (wrong) States right now. God knows her heart and my guess is it is better then most. I love having her as First Lady and I am behind her 100% and I got a feeling God is too.

  4. Its about time we get back to the principles of what this country is made of and that is God First!!
    Give Melania a break, reciting the Lords prayer in English was probably not easy, since that is not her native tongue. It was quite obvious that while she was reciting Our Lords prayer, it truly came from the heart!

  5. Wow! Just wow. So many things in your statement to take issue with there is no good place to begin. Except to say… may the Lord grant you a mind filled with grace and wisdom, a heart filled with compassion, and a voice filled with love to drown out the resounding gong/clanging symbol. May your eyes be opened and your heart be soft.

  6. I would have said, “There are moments that call on us to put politics [religion] aside.”

    But, given the purpose of this rally, maybe the prayer was intended to reinforce among Trump’s followers how similar to God he is in his obsessive craving to be worshiped, praised, and glorified while being a pompous vindictive prick.

  7. “Yet, so many have chosen instead to criticize and politicize it.”

    “There are moments that call on us to put politics aside.”

    Maybe, but an official campaign rally for Trump’s re-election obviously isn’t one of them. This was a political event, not a prayer meeting. It was Trump’s team that politicized the Lord’s Prayer by cynically using it at a political rally to pander to his mostly Christian base. Trump is not, as even his most fervently Christian fans acknowledge, a religious man. He didn’t even know the words to the prayer, except for the last line. He only cares about it as a means to manipulate his supporters.

    If you’re upset about the Lord’s Prayer being politicized, get upset at Trump.

  8. We see what we want to see, Patricia. Where you see sincerity, I see cynical exploitation. I am not Christian, but I object to those who would use faith as a foil to boost one’s status, evoke undeserved enthusiasm, etc..

    During the last election (the one leading to Obama’s second term), a friend of mine remarked how he detested Rick Perry’s use of Christianity as a means of convincing people of his qualifications during his famous “I’m a Christian” campaign ad. Faith, he said, should not be a political tool. Hence, he voted for Romney, the Mormon, during his state’s primary and in the general despite his self-described evangelical faith.

  9. So take issue and be specific instead of offering a written prayer in the hopes of softening this atheist’s heart. There is no disputing their privileged status, and it grates on me that anyone would laud anyone in power for showing “courage” by playing to an overwhelmingly friendly crowd.

  10. Only God sees the heart on the wealthy and the not so privileged ones. Just know that when we die and yes we all will die someday. We all will have to account for all we have said and done before our Maker! That my friend is TRUTH…my prayer is that one day you will realize that as well.

  11. “Its about time we get back to the principles of what this country is made of and that is God First!!”

    Of course whose version of God is entirely up in the air or any at all if one has any respect for our most primary rights of free speech and religious freedom. Equating the nation with a given sect of Christianity or any religion is a road best not traveled by those who value our nation’s principles.

  12. “Our first lady, shouldering the new weight of her title and position,
    took a courageous stand and led 9,000 people in a prayer for God’s help
    and assistance in our nation.”

    So pandering to sectarian interests in a controlled setting is considered courageous these days?

    Then again this is generally the same crowd who somehow finds abusing one’s authority in public positions and violating laws concerning public accommodations to engage in discrimination, courageous. They are not decent judges of character.

  13. She has the *constitutional* right to recite the Lord’s Prayer at a political rally.

    You have the *constitutional* right not to show up at that rally.

    Everything’s all good!

  14. She did not recite the Lords Prayer to boost her self or any agenda other than to Pray for This Country.. whether you believe her or not the Lord heard and knows truth..whether she read it or not is irrelevant.. i say it every day and i still mess it up.. why cant ppl just be Happy that she is a God Loving Woman who has the Freedom of Speech on her side no matter what it is.. and i would rather hear the Lords Prayer than have someone up there lying and cussing and let you think that was ok or better than a Prayer.. God Bless you Melania Trump!!!!

  15. Hmm. Matthew 6:5. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

    Okay, let’s see what that verse means, and what it doesn’t mean.

    “We know that Jesus’ words cannot be a prohibition against all public prayer, because Jesus Himself prayed publicly (Matthew 14:19; 26:26–27; Mark 8:6; Luke 23:34). Also, Jesus taught others to pray publicly (Matthew 6:9–13), and the early church prayed publicly (Acts 1:24, 25; 4:31). Rather, Jesus’ words should be taken as a prohibition against hypocritical public prayer spoken to attract the admiration of men. Jesus was condemning the self-serving practice of offering public performance prayers, show-offish prayers designed to make the person praying look spiritual in the eyes of those who heard him pray.” — S. Michael Houdmann

    So now you have the full dish on Matt. 6:5. You’re welcome to blindly accuse Melania Trump of offering a “hypocritical public prayer”, but the reality is that you have NO evidence to support that accusation. And as another poster said, only God can see her heart.

  16. True, but it is tasteless. A hint of untoward state sponsored religion.

  17. What I found disconcerting was the applause. Yes applause after speaking her spiel but I cannot recall any other public event where the Lord’s prayer was applauded. Considering the evangelical base, I would have expected more respect.

  18. J.C. You should read a book written by a former atheist and it may cause you to think twice. “Cold-Case Christianity” by J. Warner Wallace . You too are loved by God and he sent his Son to die for you too, J.C. Love, in Christ.

  19. I’m just truly saddened by the state of this great country. Thank you Greg! I pray for a day of unity and peace on earth. Perhaps only in Heaven this will ever be truly experienced.

  20. J.C. probably respects your beliefs more than you do his.

    Rather take issue with atheism and obnoxiously seeking to dissuade his belief, it would behoove you to read what he had to say here. It’s nice you find comfort in your belief, it is both immoral and arrogant to expect everyone else to do so as well.

  21. Well Floyd, since my accusation was based on such an exegesis, I won’t repeat myself. But, as Christians are so fond of saying, context matters. In this instance, a Trump rally.

    Rallies, esp. political rallies, are performances designed to be evocative. It also happens to be that the Trumps have built their public personas around the pursuit of money and influence. And, given the widespread exploitation of religion by political figures in general, there’s at least room for suspicion even from a charitable perspective (which I do not have, obviously). You’re certainly free to ignore all this, but if I must confess ignorance as to her true intentions, so must you. I’m content with that.

    I see no reason whatsoever to consider a religious prayer offered during a political rally – any political rally – as remotely sincere. Moreover, a religious prayer at a political rally is troubling in and of itself, but for reasons you & I are unlikely to agree on, so I won’t bother going into them.

  22. Really? It wasn’t a deliberate and cynical way to appeal to your crowd? Well nobody ever said evangelicals were a difficult crowd to court.

    But I will say this, if Trump was a democrat you would probably be hissing and shouting about what an immoral hypocritical scum he is and denounce his wife for that prayer for its insincerity.

  23. Ahhh but there my friend is where you are wrong. No disrespect given nor intended. I wish all would come to Jesus and be saved. You too. I was pointing him to a very great book I am reading presently by a former non believer who studied and came to other conclusions. I am merely here to present the good word of Jesus to who I can. Love, in Christ.

  24. Yes, I get that you don’t have the character and respect for other people to understand that they do not have to share your beliefs. Some Christians have remarkable ways to rationalize trespasses upon others and their obnoxious behavior. Usually it us coupled with a tone deafness to offense given in casual tones.

    Your tone was dismissive and arrogant. Bless your heart. I will pray for you. 🙂

  25. This discourse of your’s and your so very defensive attitude just makes me wonder how you ever came across my pastor’s article in the first place? Good day and God bless.

  26. Renee, I can appreciate you mean well, but I’ve been there done that and burned the t-shirt. There was a time in my life when apologetics consumed a majority of my time, and although I haven’t read that book in particular, experience has lowered my expectations for them in general. And, in any case, I lost interest in them entirely when I let go of what I now consider to be a useless faith.

    All that being said, I hope you will not mind if I offer a suggestion in return. Consider carefully your ideas, and find ways to put them to the test. I know your scriptures advise against this, but when I did this, I thought of it as following the advice given in 1 Peter 3:15. Think about it.

  27. I was horrified. This was a campaign rally — not even an inaugural event.

    You cannot lie your head off for 3 weeks and then send your wife up to the podium to pray the Lord’s Prayer — as if this was some sort of a worship service in a church. Evangelicals are getting played, big time, by the Trump administration.

    And before anybody says it, of course I know you don’t have to be perfect to pray the Lord’s Prayer. But when you tell lies (the size of his win, the size of his crowd, the “millions” of fake voters) shouldn’t the first prayer we hear from your podium be a prayer of confession?

  28. I pray the Lord’s Prayer regularly. And even I can see how inappropriate it is to trot it out at a campaign rally. Did we learn nothing when Constantine decided to use Christianity to promote his empire?

  29. “Don’t you think it’s time to hit the pause button, folks? There are moments that call on us to put politics aside.”

    It’s almost like you’ve never read the Lord’s Prayer. So you are either showing your ignorance or being wildly dishonest. If you think praying for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven is “aside” from politics, you are in denial of the content of the prayer. If you think the “First Lady” invoking these words at a political rally to boost the sagging ego of the President is something “aside” from politics, you are in denial of the context of her prayer.

    Either way I can’t believe RNS published this sycophantic drivel.

    As long as Public Servant #45 pursues policies that run counter to God’s kingdom and uses rhetoric that slanders people who are made in the image of God, the rest of us will not let pass his blasphemy or his supporter’s idolatry or the craven accommodation of so-called Christians who write apologetic nonsense like this.

    If you can’t tell when someone is taking the Lord’s name in vain, the rest of us can.

  30. She might have lots of class and spirit, but you don’t actually know her, do you? So you are projecting your fondest hopes and wishes on someone you don’t know. All we know is that she wears very expensive clothes, had an affair with her now-husband before she married him, knowing he was foul-mouthed and acquisitive. (“My whole life I’ve been greedy, greedy, greedy. I’ve grabbed all the money I could get, I’m so greedy,”) and she gave a plagiarized speech. ( I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she had no idea it was plagiarized.) I don’t hate her, but I haven’t been swept away with idol-worship and declared her “better than most.” What on earth is wrong with America — its like the Trumps have some spell on so many of us.

  31. J.C. Personally, I do set Christ apart as holy, am always willing to give a defense for what and why I believe as I do. And I did not come to this forum disrespectfully, in study of 1 Peter 3:15, as you suggested following the advice given.
    I respect everyone’s choice, however wish for none to perish. That is simply what we as believers are instructed to do, to go and tell the word. Not holier than thou, just saved by the shed blood of Christ. And happy to proclaim my beliefs while respecting yours.
    J.C. What if you are wrong? The alternative is scarier than Hell, no pun intended. Thanks for the lively and thought provoking discourse. Have a great evening.

  32. The insincerity and passive aggressive nature of your comments is fairly obvious.

    I will pray for you. Bless your heart.

  33. And I’m just curious. If Hillary Clinton had opened a campaign rally with the Lord’s Prayer, how would you have felt about that?

  34. Floydlee has the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to be wrong about everything.

  35. No I don’t know her but at least she isn’t always having a mean face and fight against America like the last first lady. So she has more than you or I. Do you know if during this very nasty election on both sides things didn’t get to her so much that she ask Christ into her life. And I am talking about her not her husband. No either do I but I do know that at one point while praying for the election, God ask me not to pray for Trump to get President but to pray that though all of this he finds the Lord. I don’t care what she has or what she did because if that was the point I would have to bury myself in stones. Sorry for your lost for president but mine won in more ways then one. And rather he or her ask Christ into there lives or are just tricking us all its not for me to judge God knows the truth. And there is no man or woman that I am swept away with except for The Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit….

  36. Hillary would never do that all she wants in your money

  37. Sorry, I didn’t see the “mean face,” in the former first lady, and I think that’s projection too. But I agree that we should pray for them both.

  38. Maybe that’s true, maybe she just wants my money. But Donald likes money too, right? So I’m just perplexed about why one family gets your ire and the other one your respect.

  39. Hmm, I didn’t know you atheists do prayer.

    One question: Who’s the addressee?

  40. Well, last time I checked the New Testament, it’s not exactly a sin to applaud the Lord’s Prayer.

    I’ve been to churches where people will clap their hands in agreement with a strong, heartfelt, sincere human prayer, (or even clap for a stumbling, nervous, incomplete human prayer if they feel that it’s at least being offered with sincerity).

    So tell me what’s not respectful about some applause after the Lord’s Prayer? Is it a sin or something?

  41. Umm, other than your formidable mind-reading abilities, exactly how do you know that Melania Trump was “taking the Lord’s name in vain”?

  42. “So I’m just perplexed about why one family gets your ire and the other one your respect”

    (R) or (D)

    Many evangelicals idolize the reprehensible if one supports their agenda and detest those with integrity who do not. Admiration, morals and principles being entirely utilitarian. Something to criticize others for but never apply to themselves.

  43. Clapping is not mentioned in the New Testament so no surprise it isn’t exactly found to be a sin there while the 9 times found in the Old Testament is as an expression of joy. From a devotional perspective, clapping also intrudes on anybody following up with an additional personal private prayer and would be a rude awakening to someone saying the prayer in unison with Melania.

    And actually, that is my generous interpretation of the applause – non-respectful. I really thought initially they were applauding Melania for not making any mistakes while reading the prayer – realizing the OT meaning of clap.

  44. A political/marketing statement. Prayer fails when scientifically tested. Obviously if it worked the world wouldn’t be in such a sorry state – now would it? Keep praying to the ceiling in Church.

  45. The First Lady read the prayer because she probably doesn’t know it in English (Not her first language). Those of us who speak multiple languages will usually pray in the language we first learned it in.

  46. This nation was built on Christian values. Not by man, but by God. The founding fathers implemented God’s word into this nation. Separation of church and state mean nothing and never will. God’s word will always be in the spot light. Political correctness, is dying and it needs to. Theirs nothing correct about it. Whatever platform it is, God will be there, bottom line .

  47. How Christ like of you. Maybe she didn’t want to get one word wrong in her adopted language. She had no way of knowing that people would give a standing ovation.

  48. You won’t bother? But you did bother to denigrate someone for simply praying. You sir, are searching. In your search you reach conclusions based on nothing more than whim.

  49. You mean as unspecific as you’ve been? Atheism is just another religion who’s worship is at the alter of self importance. As you would discrib the Trump’s, so you too walk.

  50. Hahahaha, insincere passive aggressive seems to discribe someone who would troll a Christian page.

  51. Re election campaign. Quite a stretch wouldn’t you say? He’s been in office 4 weeks.

  52. Just fine, she should have. Hillary lost, get over it.

  53. I didn’t mention her. It seems you can’t get over Hilary.

    Trump’s a cretin. The prayer was tasteless. Deal with it.

  54. See my note above. Of course I have. But if I’d spent the past 3 weeks telling lies about the size of my win, the size of the crowd, the existence of non-existent illegal voters, etc., I think it would be appropriate for me to ask for forgiveness, not try to use religion as another way to endear myself to a crowd.

  55. Unless I’m missing something here this was a blog by a Christian pastor on a site called “Religion News”. Why would atheists and liberals even be drawn to this site let alone even know that it exists.

    Liberals are only interested in stories and ideas that destroy a society not ones that are uplifting and positive. So all you liberals please return to your regularly scheduled listening and following of your (death parties) mantra and leave those well meaning and common sense thinkers alone, please..

  56. Of course it isn’t but the applause treated it as such. First time I have heard applause following the Lord’s prayer.

  57. Ph.u.c.k. you. You are missing more than something, hoss. Like honesty, for starters.

  58. “Why would atheists and liberals even be drawn to this site let alone even know that it exists.”

    RNS is *not* a pastor’s blog. It is what it says it is: a news media site that reports on religious issues and topics.

    “Liberals are only interested in stories and ideas that destroy a society not ones that are uplifting and positive.”

    Sweeping, slanderous stereotype that willfully misrepresents what actual “liberals” think and do. You’ve created a straw man out of your own fantasies simply to attack and dismiss.

  59. But why would atheists be interested at all in a delighted site that counter intuitive to there thinking.
    I do see how low liberals are by their actions, there’s nothing edifying or good about them.

  60. “Why would atheists and liberals even be drawn to this site let alone even know that it exists.”

    Because, while Christianity, which is built around a book of myths, fairy tales, and fables, is irrelevant to me, personally, it is not irrelevant to multitudes of Christians who insist that it entitles them to dominion, . . .which means they feel entitled to control the experiences, thought processes, beliefs, and behaviors/actions of everyone else. Effective self-defense requires knowing thy enemy.

  61. “Effective self-defense requires knowing thy enemy.”

    I would certainly agree with that, but I think you and all of us have a far worse and more dangerous enemy than Christians, that being Islam.

  62. As I already wrote in response to Floyd, I do not hold a charitable perspective of this rally, the prayer in question, or the current first family. And I promise you, I have no aspiration to be “Christ-like.” Take from that what you will.

    Regarding her adopted language, her choice to read rather than recite wasn’t really the central point. I could’ve left it out and the problems remain. But, to your point, she (allegedly) speaks up to 5 languages and has lived in the U.S. for 20+ years, 12 of them married to Trump, so language seems an unlikely barrier.

  63. I think I was pretty specific in my critique of this event, so I don’t know what you’re referring to. But thanks for the chuckle in re: “just another religion.” Atheism is a category of belief, yes, not a religion. But to play this game tell me, am I to understand you think is religion a bad thing?

  64. I do not need to get over Hillary deceitful person. She lost, she is not president, nice try. The prayer was only tasteless to your devious mind.

  65. As a matter of fact, I am searching – for a President (and first family) that eschews religious pandering, and a public that isn’t seeking a head of the American church but rather a qualified head of state. But…

    I won’t bother because I’m familiar enough with Floyd’s positions to know we will not agree. I choose not to open a fraught line of discussion when I already know will only end in disagreement. If Floyd is disappointed by this, I’m sure he’ll let us all know.

  66. No different than anyone else, really. We all judge. We all try to discern truth, untruth, good, bad, etc.. Even your scriptures tell you to do just that as long as you’re mindful of being judged by the same standard. Look it up.

  67. Deceitful statement in the first. But you did bother, and you still bother. Only in your devious opaque mind is the matter of what you speak.

  68. Pascal’s Wager is…unpersuasive, to put it mildly. Among other things, it implies that faith is a choice. As I’m sure you know, that’s not how things work. A person has faith in something or doesn’t largely depending on what he/she finds persuasive and/or appealing about the object of said faith. At least with regard to religious ideas. But to your point, if I’m wrong then it will certainly not be the first time, but it definitely will be the last. I might add that I’ll endure an eternity of hellfire for the sake of preserving my integrity.

  69. You mentioned her, not me. I don’t care about her. I am evaluating Trump and Co on their own merits and lack thereof.

    I guess freedom of speech and a right to criticize our leaders is not something you particularly like or appreciate. Of course unless said leaders are Democrats. 🙂

    The prayer was tasteless to anyone with a sense of taste, propriety and respect for a multi faith nation you clearly have none of the above.

    If you don’t like people criticizing our president and his actions, eff off. It’s not only the right of all Americans it is our duty. Especially when they do things to deserve it.

  70. Ahh so now you digress. Freedom of speech means I can disagree and say so to you. But your devious, deceitful mind cannot see that, it reverts to a curse phrase. You lose the debate on that, thank you very much. Good day madame.

  71. “. . . but I think you and all of us have a far worse and more dangerous enemy than Christians, that being Islam.”

    I have to say that I agree with you on that point.

  72. I digress? You were the one speaking of a person who is an irrelevancy to the topic. It was hardly a digression to call out the tastelessness of the subject acts here or the disgustingly anti-democratic nature of your remarks.

    By all means feel insulted, that was the intention. Just as you meant offense by calling me devious and deceitful despite being rather open and clear of my intentions and point of view.

    I am also insulted by your attitude and responses. It flies in the face of what people are supposed to do in a free and democratic society. You show no regard for such things and deserve whatever insults you receive for your remarks.

  73. Because it is a free and open discussion board. If you have trouble with the concept, maybe you should seek a conversation elsewhere.

    You seem to have a problem with the existence of views that are not in sync with your own.

  74. Panicking nothing! That is righteous indignation at your uncivil and rather disgusting attitude towards politics. Now go run along. I am sure you have other people to troll.

  75. Christianity is not the national religion, so the feel good was not felt by everyone!

  76. Separation of church and state is a pretty simple concept. Also, the Republican party now requires candidates to pass a religious test. Both are unconstitutional.

  77. Demeaning the 1st Lady (in your 2nd one sentence paragraph) and impugning her motives is low and it is beneath you. I’m disappointed.

  78. There is nothing personally demeaning to her there. The act was playing to a very easily pandered crowd. It’s politics. Everyone has shaky motives. Mendacity typifies everything associated with our current president. So yes the motives are never going to look squeaky clean here.

    I am however, impugning what conservative Christians call courageous these days.

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